Port Alberni’s Boston Pizza outlet could re-open within the next couple of months, Shape Properties representative Mike Nygren said.
The announcement was made at Monday night’s city council meeting.
At issue was a development variance permit for the old Alberni Mall site on Johnston Road, where Boston Pizza is located.
The outlet closed last summer after non-payment of rent between the tenant, Mercer, Montgomery & Smith Holdings Ltd and the landlord, Fever 2 Investments Ltd. and Mancal Commercial Properties BC Ltd.
Nygren told councillors Monday that the organization had been working with a new group to take over the franchise.
Although more discussions are required “We think Boston Pizza is going to be open soon,” he said.
Council passed a motion that will see the Alberni Mall lot subdivided from one parcel of land into five parcels.
The new configuration won’t change the physical location of the buildings, city planner Scott Smith said.
The new outlay makes it more attractive for investors and gives the company more financing flexibility, Nygren said.
A team of 10 Shape employees is working the phones and retail fairs to drum up tenants for the mall.
“I see it happening in a couple of phases,” Nygren said of re-populating the half-vacant old mall.
“We have good lease momentum happening now,” he added.
The Port Alberni property is one of 12 properties the company owns in B.C., all of which were impacted by the 2008 recession.
“Leasing was slow all across our portfolio,” Nygren said.